Master Gardener Visit Yields Benefits that Cross the Border

Jackye Meinecke (L) chats with the Border Partners team Juan Rascon, Peter Edmunds, and Juana Flores during her visit to our garden program in Puerto Palomas.

Jackye Meinecke (L) chats with the Border Partners team Juan Rascon, Peter Edmunds, and Juana Flores during her visit to our garden program in Puerto Palomas.

Jackye Meinecke, a master gardener from Las Cruces, NM, responded to our invitation to Puerto Palomas. Her mission on September 21 was to see Border Partners’ garden projects and advise us about our methods. It was a productive visit!

As Jackye arrived that morning, the local gardeners were in the process of moving the locations of garden beds inside the community greenhouse. Immediately, Jackye admired the healthy soil, appreciatively cupping it in her hands and sniffing it. Jackye was able to offer some advice on bed location and design, but she also generously affirmed the gardener team on the good work they were accomplishing.

Noting that would be a difficult to cultivate plants near the building, Jackye advised that we increase rain water collection along the exterior of the building walls. If even weeds don’t grow in any location, she commented, that’s a sign that it will be hard to make any other kind of plant grow in that location.

Jackye also advised us to ensure that tree roots don’t encroach into the nearby community demonstration garden bed. She recommended adding compost around the base of the trees to promote tree health.

Jackye enjoyed samplings of various edible plants we offered her. She seemed to appreciate this opportunity, as some of them are quite uncommon in the U.S.

Jackye then toured many of the home gardens around town. At the various home sites, she offered advice that would promote improved plant production by altering bed design, by using home livestock compost and by rotating garden locations.

While at various home gardens we all enjoyed sampling white pomegranates. Although Jackye had heard of this variety, she had never before tasted it.

Jackye’s visit to Puerto Palomas concluded with lunch with members of the Border Partners team. It was a beneficial day of real cross-border partnership. View more images from the day on our Flickr album.

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